Jam It! - Following The Unknown,
I feel incredibly fortunate at present, as I am being introduced to many Russian progressive rock bands, and here is yet another that has passed me by in the past that I am grateful to hear now. Formed in St. Petersburg in 2006, they have been operating as an instrumental outfit since 2010 and this 2015 release was their third (and latest) album. The quartet of Alexey Vostrikov (drums), Dmitry Medvinsky (bass), Konstantin Ilin (guitar) and Roman Savelyev (keyboards) are obviously influenced by the jazz rock fusion boom of the Seventies, but here it is firmly within the realm of progressive rock, and there are also some metallic influences which bring it right up to date. There should also be a special mention here of the treatment of the drums within production, as it often feels that instead of four instruments being blended together, that it is three plus one. The drums and cymbals are vibrant, bright and direct and given the versatility and musicianship being displayed by Alexey there is a major impact on the overall feel of the album.
Normally one would expect the rhythm section to be more controlled in this style of line-up, but here just Dmitry has the that role, with Alexey doing his thing, and then Konstantin and Roman both taking it in turns to provide melody and lead lines. It certainly never feels like a self-released album, as it is vibrant and fresh, never too self-indulgent but twisting and changing in a manner that is always interesting and fascinating. The metallic approach that is brought to bear at times is never too over the top or intrusive, but has a part to play in creating dynamics and emotion. Overall this is an enjoyable album that is well worth discovering.